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Are you asking about money saving fitness options?

Or are you asking for suggestions on good fitness classes for kids? That depends on each child's interests and temperment.

Unfortunately, I think most fitness classes are going to cost money. In our area, even the YMCA classes aren't super cheap. If you're trying to spend less and do fewer classes, here are some ideas:

  • family hikes, everyone gets exercise and nature
  • running / jogging - if you have non runners, the key is to start micro- like a quarter mile or half a mile, and build up slowly. 
  • fitness videos
  • FitDeck (get it on amazon)

 

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We hike the trails at the parks around. It's simple but we like it~ We also just walk the neighborhood together and talk. 

We also have the kids in sports but that's more for skill and social than fitness- though they certainly get a workout.

I don't want to get in the mindset that fitness costs money. 

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Probably our cheapest sport is running, followed by swimming.  I also like hiking (which is free), but my kids claim to hate it.

Our rec center has many reasonably-priced options depending on what works for our interests and schedule.  Right now we are not using it much at all, but when the kids played soccer it was our favorite and very reasonable.  School sports are also a really good deal if they work for you.

We are also doing martial arts, which is expensive but I feel it's worth it.  For us, it's a one-time payment (plus belt test fees), and you can come to as many classes as you want throughout the week until you reach black belt.  So that could be a great deal if you come often.  We only make it about 1x per week for various reasons.

Don't get me started about my kids' favorite sports, which are gymnastics and horse riding.  $$$!

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Not sure how you define "useful". For my DS, martial arts was fantastic, because it sparked a passion and got him to develop perseverance and grit. For DD, horseback riding accomplished the same; martial arts would not have had the effect.

It is definitely possible to develop fitness for free. We hiked and rock climbed with the kids, and we model a lifestyle of life long physical activity (which is often not the outcome of kid fitness classes - adults won't continue gymnastics or baseball throughout their lives).

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

Not sure how you define "useful". For my DS, martial arts was fantastic, because it sparked a passion and got him to develop perseverance and grit. For DD, horseback riding accomplished the same; martial arts would not have had the effect.

It is definitely possible to develop fitness for free. We hiked and rock climbed with the kids, and we model a lifestyle of life long physical activity (which is often not the outcome of kid fitness classes - adults won't continue gymnastics or baseball throughout their lives).

While I agree with most of your post, I do want to point out that my dh and SIL played softball for years in adult leagues so some sports/areas you can continue soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball into adulthood. 

OP, we focus on building the daily excercisehabit--mostly running and biking. My kids also do what I call skill development in certain areas at certain times. We try to avoid high price sports bc I want them to see that physical exercise is manageable at whatever income, wherever you are. So, with the exception of one ds who is not athletic but really liked climbing, we don't spend much. The other kids do rec TaeKwanDo and  AYSO soccer, fencing and dance at co-op and then swim, ski once a year (except during our states fourth grade free ski year), hike, ice skate a few times a year-- that kind of thing 

so, even in my HCOL area, excepting when ds did climbing, we probably only spend around $500 a year on fitness and could spend nothing if we needed to. 

Now, clearly, my goal isn't champion sports kids. Even though my dds are incredibly athletic, we don't have the money. But staying fit is a family value and it is fun to see how we are able to use low cost options to patch together interesting experiences while teaching the kids to make movement a habit and an adventure. 

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I appreciate all the feedback!

I wanted to reduce costs as well as consider the advantages of various sports.  I decided to cut back on some fitness class hours (not eliminating classes but reducing hours) to save money.  While hiking and running are great, we need extra money for other short-term sports interests that we need to outsource.

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